Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling junctions that make up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. At current rates plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
The ocean contains an estimated 150 million tons of plastic, with 8 million tons added annually – equivalent to a garbage truck load every minute.
Only a fraction of plastic ocean pollution is visible. Most of it consists of tiny degraded particles swirling across 16 million square kilometers of ocean surface, an area the size of the United States and Australia combined. Plastic particles in oceans harm marine animals by either becoming lodged in the digestive systems of animals, leading to impairment or death or plastic particles can absorb toxins already in the water and spread them through the marine food web, and possibly to humans. Fish, turtles, seabirds, sea lions, and whales can all die a grisly death eating or become entangled in plastic. A recent study found that a quarter of fish at markets in California and Indonesia contain plastic in their guts, mostly in the form of plastic microfibers.
Meet Melissa Gil, a marine biologist by background who has always had a deep connection to nature and love for the ocean. She says, “We have a lot more power as consumers than we think to make change on our environment.” She personally asks for no plastic straws or bags and even goes so far as to tell the restaurants that she’ll bring her own Tupperware for her to go orders.
Meli is a professional kite boarder and has turned her passion into purpose with her company, MG Surfline, an ecofriendly and ethically conscious swimwear and active wear company that uses plastic bottles to create their environmentally friendly line to help solve our environmental problems for #plasticfreeocean.
In our conversation today, we discuss how each of us are casting a vote each time we choose to use plastic and the idea that the way we chose does make a difference. Meli also gets vulnerable about her friend’s traumatic death from a shark attack and how she healed through expression, communication and connection to get back into the ocean. Life is fragile so appreciate the moment. Whenever you’re scared, exercise your mind to be positive by replacing the negative fear with a positive thought. Meli embodies her mantra of “Do what you love” in every aspect of her career, her passion for a plastic free ocean and her whole life.
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